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Tomato and Basil Tart

Tomato and Basil Tart
This recipe calls for plum tomatoes, but if you have access to local farm stands, choose whichever tomatoes are at their best. If the tomatoes are large and juicy, you don't need to cook them on the stove before baking. However, be sure to sauté the garlic in olive oil to diminish its raw, pungent flavor.

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 10 Tbs. (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter,
      cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs. ice water, plus more as needed

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 8 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz. goat cheese (chèvre)
  • 1 cup slivered fresh basil leaves

Directions:

To make the pastry, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the flour and salt and beat on low speed for 15 seconds. Add the butter and continue beating until the mixture resembles pea-size crumbs, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the water 1 Tbs. at a time and continue beating, adding more water as needed, until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press together to form a 5-inch disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness to fit a 13 3/4-by-4 1/4-inch tart pan. Press the dough into the pan and trim dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang around the rim. Fold in the excess dough and press it into the sides so they are thicker than the bottom. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes.

To make the filling, in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat, warm the 1/3 cup olive oil, add the garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a plate and set aside. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and arrange them in the pan, sliced side down. Cook, without stirring, until the tomatoes are lightly golden underneath, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the goat cheese, garlic, 1/2 cup of the basil, salt and pepper until smooth and blended.

Brush the pastry with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and spread the goat cheese mixture evenly over the bottom. Top with the tomatoes, sliced side up, drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the crust is golden and crisp, about 1 hour. Transfer the tart to a wire rack and cool at least 10 minutes.

Remove the tart from the pan and cut the tart crosswise into slices about 3 inches wide. Garnish with the remaining 1/2 cup basil and serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.